The NFLPA-endorsed boycott of offseason activities seems to losing steam.
Monday was the first day for OTAs, which are voluntary. The San Francisco 49ers had more than 80 players on hand. The Miami Dolphins had more than 70. The Las Vegas Raiders had 70 players in camp.
Rookie minicamp concluded over the weekend and just about all the drafted and undrafted rookies were there. The only ones who missed were a few that had positive COVID-19 tests.
It will be interesting to see the number of players showing up moving forward. The NFLPA is having trouble keeping everyone on board.
The Broncos have been more affected by the boycott than any team in football. They lost Ja’Wuan James and DaeSean Hamilton for the season with injuries that came outside the facility.
James was cut on Friday. Hamilton remains on the roster, but you wonder for how long. The team was close to trading him last Thursday until they found out he blew out his ACL.
The Broncos aren’t expected to pay James’ $10 million salary. He and the NFLPA most likely will file a grievance to fight hard to get him his money back.
It’s doubtful that the Broncos will seek his $3 million signing bonus proration, which they probably can do. That would be too much.
Such a move, while within Denver’s rights, wouldn’t go over well with players in the locker room. That’s not the way the team does business anyways.
Around the league, coaches are making changes to try to get veterans to show up for OTAs. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is willing to make June minicamp non-mandatory. Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy is offering to trim a week of on-the-field activity during the OTAs.
The boycott pretty much comes down to 10 to 20 starters who banding together not to be in camp. We’ll see if that holds up as time goes on.
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